Boris Johnson pays tribute to Prince Philip’s ‘ethic of service’

Boris Johnson pays tribute to Prince Philip’s ‘ethic of service’

Boris Johnson pays tribute to Prince Philip’s ‘ethic of service’

Boris Johnson has paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh’s “ethic of service”, joining a number of UK political and religious leaders to pay tribute to the Queen’s husband, who has died aged 99.

In comments televised live from Downing Street, the prime minister said Prince Philip “earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth and around the world”.

Noting Philip’s record fighting in the second world war, Johnson said that from the conflict “he took an ethic of service that he applied throughout the unprecedented changes of the postwar era”.

“Like the expert carriage driver that he was, he helped to steer the royal family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life,” the PM said. “He was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable. With his Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme he shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people.”

Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, said Philip “provided an outstanding example of Christian service” over his life, praising his work and legacy and calling the prince “a prophetic voice for over half a century” around conservation.

Welby said: “On the occasions when I met him, I was always struck by his obvious joy at life, his enquiring mind and his ability to communicate to people from every background and walk of life. He was a master at putting people at their ease and making them feel special.”

Stephen Cottrell, the archbishop of York, released a tribute hailing Philip’s “unstinting” support to the Queen over the decades, saying the pair’s marriage “has been a source of mutual joy, support and comfort in private moments but equally as they have both navigated a very public life together”.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, said the UK had “lost an extraordinary public servant”.

He added: “Prince Philip dedicated his life to our country – from a distinguished career in the Royal Navy during the second world war to his decades of service as the Duke of Edinburgh. However, he will be remembered most of all for his extraordinary commitment and devotion to the Queen.”

Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, tweeted that she was “saddened”, adding: “I send my personal and deepest condolences – and those of scotgov and the people of Scotland – to Her Majesty The Queen and her family.

In a statement released together, Northern Ireland’s first minister, Arlene Foster, and the deputy first minister, Michelle O’Neill, expressed their condolences. O’Neill, the vice-president of Sinn Féin, praised Philip’s “contribution to the advancement of peace and reconciliation”.

Tony Blair, the former prime minister, said that as well as his role supporting the Queen, Philip should “also be remembered and celebrated in his own right as a man of foresight, determination and courage”, and someone “often way ahead of his time” in areas such as environmentalism.

Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, called Philip “an extraordinary man, who devoted his life to public service and helping others”. He added: “Not only did His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh devote 70 years to undertaking royal duties, but he also fought for Britain – and for the freedoms we hold dear today – during the second world war.”

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, praised the duke’s “quiet and steadfast counsel and support of the Queen”.

He said: “At this sad time for millions, we should never forget Prince Philip was a much-loved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. So our thoughts must be with the whole royal family, but in particular with the Queen at this difficult time.”

Sian Berry, the co-leader of the Green party, hailed Philip for “a notable contribution to connecting young people with nature and the outdoors” through his award scheme.

Religious leaders also paid tribute, with Ephraim Mirvis, the chief rabbi, saying he “enjoyed immensely my personal conversations with the Duke of Edinburgh, during which I was deeply moved by his extraordinary sense of duty”.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the archbishop of Westminster and most senior figure in the English Catholic church, said: “How much we will miss Prince Philip’s presence and character, so full of life and vigour. He has been an example of steadfast loyalty and duty cheerfully given. May he rest in peace.”

the guardian

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